Since 2002 Araine Moffatt has been giving us her interpretation of various modes of music. Whether she strums an acoustic guitar or layers tracks with static drones, the relatively young Québécoise is undoubtedly thoughtful. Her new album, MA, is nothing short of sincere. This time, the majority of the tunes have a distinct indie pop rock feel. And Moffatt’s distinct voice is ever present. Like her prior releases, most tracks have a plucked distorted bass leading the way with other noise to texture. The clean sounds and fuzzy noise come together for a pretty standard indie album.
Of note is track number two, entitled, “In Your Body.” Not too raucous, the suspenseful track builds and builds and builds but without leading anywhere creating tension and expectation, in all the best ways. As Moffatt chants , “…in your body…,” it’s undoubtedly a sexy and suggestive track. Some of my personal favorite tracks from this album, on the other hand, are not in English but French (well, OK, Québécoise French, but it sounds the same to me!). The lyrics are a mystery but their aesthetic quality is unparalleled. One can’t argue if something sounds good. “Hôtel Amour” and “Mon Corps” are excellent examples of where Moffatt’s French renders a unique indie pop experience. “Mon Corps” is especially interesting as a synthesizer pulsates in and out of your ear-drums. Coming back to English, the most approachable tracks on MA prove to be “All Yours”—bubbly and catchy— and “Rules of Legal Love”—spacious and low-key. I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the tracks which radios will exploit.
The only downside of MA is that it lacks an x-factor. It lacks a certain air which indicates difference from all other things indie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well done and a good listen. By no means is Moffatt’s work “bad.” It’s just that it feels so formulaic. The sounds and transitions she employs seem to share a lot in common with other acts of her style. Besides that, her lyrics (at least the English ones) are nothing too impressive. To my ears, MA is a little cookie-cutter but you may disagree. I highly advise that Araine Moffatt deserves a chance. If you’ll grant me the indulgence in a corny cliché, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.